Westlake Wellness – Food Flexibility

By Elizabeth Beaumont
TIC Food Technology

Over the last few weeks we have all adjusted to having a more flexible day where students may be able to sleep in a little longer, exercise and learn at their own pace via online classes.

There has also been the opportunity with many families changing the way food is purchased, prepared and consumed throughout the day. Most families will have a nominated shopper or access supplies through online and charity organisations, there may also be changes to the products available to purchase due to availability or budget. As a consequence, some families may have had to change what is prepared to eat … so I have decided to share some of my basic family recipe ideas.

Tasty Cassoulet

This is my partner’s favourite winter meal. It’s super filling, really full of goodness and tasty (tinned beans, tinned tomatoes and sausages) – plus it can easily be adapted for vegans.

olive oil
1 onion finely diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
400g tinned tomatoes, crushed or 8 fresh tomatoes quartered
400g tinned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed/cook from dried
400g tinned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed/cook from dried
2 large carrots, sliced
4 celery stalks, sliced
12 button mushrooms, quartered
3T salt reduced tomato paste
2T thyme, rosemary, parsley
1c vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
For the meat eaters : 100g bacon, 8 toulouse sausages or pork sausages

1. Heat oil in a large pan over a medium heat
2. If adding meat – Add cut bacon and sausages, cook until slightly coloured on the outside, transfer to a oven proof dish and keep warm in the oven at 180℃
3. Add onion and garlic to pan, until onion is softened
4. Add carrot, celery, tomatoes, mushrooms, tomato paste and vegetable stock – simmer for 10 mins
5. Add beans, (bacon and sausage if including them) and herbs, continue to simmer until desired thickness
6. Serve hot with crusty bread

Winter Pesto

Winter pesto is an awesome addition to any meal as it adds concentrated green vegetables, it is cheap to make and keeps for around a week in the fridge – if it lasts that long!

spinach leaves, washed and centre vein removed
1c parsley/basil leaves
1/2c olive oil
1/2t salt
1T lemon juice
1/2c either almonds, pinenuts, cashew nuts

1. Place spinach, oil, lemon juice and salt in a food processor
2. Process until spinach is cut into small pieces and you have a liquidy paste
3. Add nuts and process until you have your preferred texture (I usually leave mine quite large and I like the crunchy texture)
4. Store in a airtight jar or container in the fridge
5. Serve with crackers and cheese, add to cassoulet, use in lasagne or as a sauce for pasta, have on toast

Greggies Honey Oat Slice

This was a pantry staple in my house when I grew up, it is made from oats, coconut, honey, butter and sugar but you can play around with it by adding nuts, seeds, dried fruit or chocolate.

50g    butter
1c         sugar
1T        honey
1c         rolled oats
1c         flour
1c         coconut
1t         ginger
1t         baking powder

1. Lightly grease a square tin (20x20cm)
2. Soften butter and cream with sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients.
4. Press into the slice tin firmly.
5. Bake 180°C for 10-15 mins until starting to turn golden brown
6. Cool in tin before cutting.


  • add seeds/nuts for extra protein
  • add dried fruit 
  • for a treat melt 150g of chocolate and spread over the cooked slice
  • You can also replace the honey with a nut butter for a softer, less sweet variety


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